PM waiting on Isamaa, SDE to decide Mihkelson continuing as committee chair
Prime Minister and Reform Party chair Kaja Kallas said Thursday that while the Reform Party supports fellow party member and MP Marko Mihkelson continuing in his position as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu after ending up involved in a scandal to go public last week, she intends to await the positions of coalition partners Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) on the matter.
"Let's see what our coalition partners do," Kallas told ERR when asked whether the Reform Party would be replacing Mihkelson as chair of the Riigikogu committee. "There are no such proposals at the moment, and we ourselves have no plans to do so."
The Reform chair said that, knowing the accusations leveled against Mihkelson, she did not include him in the government in order to "mitigate the risk." She likewise stressed that the authorities involved have found no grounds for launching an investigation into Mihkelson, who was accused of taking inappropriate pictures of his partner's children.
"We have the rule of law, and various institutions that handle such matters," Kallas said. "And if they haven't found the type of complaints there based upon which to launch an investigation, then the question is, should others be doing so who haven't seen those photos or been involved with them? This is a very sad case, and I believe Marko Mihkelson has to decide for himself what exactly he will do with it."
Coalition members of the Foreign Affairs Committee have come out in support of Mihkelson continuing to serve as chair of the Riigikogu committee, however neither Isamaa nor SDE has announced their official position on the matter.
Isamaa chair Helir-Valdor Seeder nonetheless told Delfi (link in Estonian) on Monday that he doesn't believe Mihkelson should continue as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
SDE chair Lauri Läänemets, meanwhile, told regional daily Lõuna-Eesti Postimees (link in Estonian) that he believes it would be difficult to Mihkelson to remain in his position as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, and if such accusations were leveled at a member of his party, he would propose someone new to replace them.
No sittings were scheduled for the Riigikogu this week, due to which a decision regarding the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee may not be made until next week.
Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!
Editor: Aili Vahtla